The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

About the book

In the spring of 2002, journalist Asne Seierstad went to Afghanistan to live with a family for several months. Here she reveals her experiences, telling the story of Sultan Khan – who defied the authorities for 20 years to supply books to the people of Kabul – and his family.

Reviewed by Selborne Book Circle

We were glad we had read the book but found it very disturbing. It involved a lively discussion and we were fortunate in that one of the members had been to Afghanistan in the comparatively liberal days before the Taliban. This is a book that should be read both for content and presentation.

Star rating: ***

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6 thoughts on “The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad”

  1. Review by St Mary’s R.C. Parish
    This book gave us some insight inot the life of one Afghan family and the wider society. Although we found the situation depressing, we enjoyed the reading. On the whole we felt that it was an “outsider’s” view rather than an “inside” story. Although Seierstad lived with the family her vfiewpoint remained that of a European. We had a very long discussion about the many factors contributing to Afghanistan’s problems.
    Star rating: ***


  2. Review by Gosport Bookworms
    Without exception the group enjoyed the book. We admired the journalistic style of writing. It increased our awareness of the effect the different regime had on the people of Kabul. The level of repression and subjugation of women was beyond out comprehension.
    Star rating: ****


  3. Review by Perspectives
    A fascinating and interesting insight into the lives of men and women of Afghanistan. A good book for a reading group with wide ranging and diverse topics for discussion.
    Star rating: ***+1/2


  4. Review by Cliffhangers – Milford
    Very mixed reactions; some appalled by the r=treatment nad place of women in Afghani society. Others found the book gave real insight into that society which was valuable. Also liked the passages giving a brief history of the country’s occupation and the difference between Sunni and Shia belief systems and origins particularly.
    We had a very good discussion as a result!
    Star rating: ***


  5. Review by Winchfield Reading Group
    We enjoyed the book. It gave insight into the lives of Afghani women and culture and the continuing war and its effects.
    Star rating: ****


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